Author: Beverly Jenkins
Series: Women Who Dare, book 1
Publisher: Avon (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Goodreads | Amazon
The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins’ compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War…
Valinda Lacey’s mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.
As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda’s determination. And he can’t stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda’s father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn’t love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.
First of all, can I just say – OMG, that cover! So gorgeous!
I can see why people call Beverly Jenkins one of the queens of romance. While I read a fair amount of historical romance, it’s typically set in Regency England. US and Civil War historicals aren’t really my thing, but I really enjoyed Rebel and feel like it gave me a viewpoint into that time period in US history that I haven’t really thought about since learning about it in middle school/high school. I also feel like I learned more about the Reconstruction period reading this book than I ever did in school – what’s up with that?
I tend to go for romances with a light-hearted rom-com tone, andRebel has a more serious and sedate tone than my usual reads, and has some really heavy subject matter somehow without being very high angst. This book wasn’t really my speed because it does deal with such dark themes and I prefer my romances to be more escapism. That being said, I’m definitely going to check out some more of Beverly Jenkins’ work to see if part of the serious tone was the personalities of the main characters and the heavy subject matter, and see if she doesn’t have something a little more light-hearted, because she is SUCH a good writer. I’m really interested to read Sable and Rai’s story in Through the Storm.
Val is really admirable, with a giving heart and a spine of steel. And Drake is just completely swoon-worthy. I love how he just quietly supports Val and her decisions, even when they’re not the ones he wants her to make, and doesn’t put pressure on her to do what hewants. Even when he has a manchild pity party at one point, he quickly realizes that he’s in the wrong and apologizes. That, friends, is a man.
This is the fourth book in The Le Veq Family series, but can be read as a stand alone with some minor spoilers for earlier books in the series. You don’t need to read the other books before reading this one.
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.